Coal Miner's Grave

Hazel Dickens
Language: English

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Nella colonna sonora del film "Harlan County, USA", di Barbara Kopple. In seguito nell'LP They Will Never Keep Us Down, 1984.
Testo trovato sulla Raymond's Folk Song Page

Una canzone dedicata a Francis F. Estep e Cleve Woodrum, due minatori uccisi dalle guardie della miniera Baldwin-Felts a Paint e Cabin Creek, West Virginia, durante un lungo sciopero nel 1912-13.

They'll Never Keep Us Down: Women's Coal Mining Songs

Il documentario, vincitore di un premio Oscar nel 1977, racconta la storia di un gruppo di minatori del carbone che, insieme alle loro famiglie, nel 1973 furono protagonisti di un lunghissimo e durissimo sciopero contro lo sfruttamento e le paghe da fame loro imposte dai padroni della Duke Power Company.

La Contea di Harlan, nel Kentucky, è stata per più di un secolo un fulcro dell'industria carbonifera americana e fin dai primi anni del XX° secolo fu teatro di scontri sanguinosi tra i lavoratori e le compagnie, sostenute dalle autorità, tanto da meritarsi la nomea di "Bloody Harlan", soprattutto dopo il conflitto che si prolungò per l'intera decade dei 30.

Della colonna sonora di "Harlan County USA" fanno parte parecchie canzoni già presenti sul sito e altre – come questa - che inserirò trovandone i testi:

1 - Coal Tattoo
2 - Shut Up in Coal Creek Mine
3 - Come All You Coal Miners
4 - Blue Diamond Mines
5 - The Yablonski Murder (Cold Blooded Murder)‎
6 - Last Train From Poor Valley
7 - Black Lung
8 - Dark As A Dungeon
9 - Trouble Among The Yearlings
10 - Lawrence Jones
11 - Coal Black Mining Blues
12 - Coal Miner's Grave
13 - The Death of Harry Simms
14 - Disaster At The Mannington Mine
15 - Cruel Willie
16 - Hard Working Miner
17 - Dream Of A Miner's Child
18 - And I Am Born To Die
19 - Clay County Miner
20 - One Morning In May
21 - Which Side Are You On?
22 – They Will Never Keep Us Down
Up there on that hillside there's an old miner's grave
And the briars and bushes about cover it up these days
And there's no one to claim it or care if he's gone away
For he was only a miner and it's only a coal miner's grave.

So, pay no attention; it's only an old miner's grave.
Pay no attention to the briars and the weeds - let them stay,
'Cause who's gonna miss him or care that he's gone a-way.
He was only a miner, and it's only a coal miner's grave.

Francis Estep from Holly Grove W.Va.,
In nineteen and thirty loaded coal ten hours a day
Six days a week, forty-seven and a half cents a ton.
He was shot down by gun thugs at the young age of thirty-one.

So the briars and brambles ramble all over his grave,
Like the thorns in his life, for living he had to pay.
Now there's no one to miss him, care that he's gone a-way.
He was only a miner and it's only a coal miner's grave.

[So is this little marker his only memorial today?
A man, who gave his life for the U.M.W.of A.
Is this how we remember all the sacrifices he made?
To let the briars and the weeds take over his Union and grave.]

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2019/9/25 - 18:25

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